Ananya Roy on Informality




"The splintering of urbanism does not take place at the fissure between formality and informality but rather, in fractal fashion, within the informalized production of space. Informal urbanization is as much the purview of wealthy urbanites as it is of slum dwellers. These forms of urban informality - from Delhi's farmhouses to Kolkata's new towns to Mumbai's shopping malls - are no more legal than the metonymic slum. But they are expressions of class power and can therefore command infrastructure, services and legitimacy. Most importantly, they come to be designated as 'formal' by the state while other forms of informality remain criminalized."

Ananya Roy, from "Slumdog Cities: Rethinking Subaltern Urbanism," in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2011

This is part of a collection of quotes related to cities. They don't necessarily reflect our views, just topics of interest. We welcome you to add others.

Credits: Photo of the Dharavi settlement in Mumbai, by Andrew Wade.

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